I remember when I was 20: the head full of dreams, the world on the palms of my hands, a bright tomorrow. Basically, everything was (falsely) possible and if today did bring what I wanted, it would surely come soon.
In this new millennium, when a regular guy grows up in any given western city, there are two ingredients which are always present in his everyday’s menu: scarcity and illusion.
Scarcity because society tells him that he will never be rich and that he must study and word hard to find a decent job. Or also because society tells him that girls deserve attention, commitment, respect and devotion (curiously, never the other way around). And in the end, this regular guy finds himself studying among the herd to become something he has really no idea about and trying to get the slightly-above-the-average girl, since the other (much) better ones are just impossible to get or out of his league.
Illusion because every mother has the best intentions of the world but always applies her unconditional love in the total wrong way: by nurturing blindly and giving only positive feedback, every female progenitor is indeed harming her offspring, by pulling the wool over his eyes, blocking every chance for him to see the real truth.
So it was with these two toxic elements alongside that I went through all my twenties. It was a decade of experimentation, of many errors and few victories, a decade in which most of my hopes and expectations led to an inglorious dead-end.
In the beginning, when I was around 15, after my first love crush and lack of correspondence – fortunately my first oneitis moment happened that early – I slowly pulled myself together and had my first nights going out, in which I made out with the first girls as well.
It was not so easy to feel some female’s lips every night but that did not discourage me a little and before I noticed, the game of women had already been on (and the one of video games off), never to be left again.
Even so, a year later I met my “soul mate” – oh so young and innocent I was! – and she turned out to be my first real girlfriend, the one whom I lost my virginity with. The thrill of having someone on my side, whom I was getting totally along and could explore my recently discovered sexuality with, was a priceless experience and actually “blinded” me for another year, since she was everything I had dreamed about, the woman of my life.
Until I started drinking alcohol and partying for real, a fact which had its climax when I went on a school finalist trip to Mallorca and suddenly a whole new world was presented to my beautiful brown eyes.
Having left my country for the first time in search of pure fun, I saw a reality which I had not yet encountered before: craziness, openness and amazing parties. Since my girlfriend had gone in this trip as well, I ended up not doing anything (aka cheating on her) but the seeds of the nightlife animal, who was about to be unleashed, were actually sowed on that trip on the Spanish island.
Then came the university, which brought on one hand the idea of freedom, since I was entering an unfamiliar place with endless opportunities, especially in terms of meeting new people, and on the other hand the idea of more responsibility, since I was starting a phase which would (supposedly) define my future – meaning that I could no longer be so carefree and irreverent as I had been in high school.
The theory is always great, but try to tell that to a teenager with his hormones in an uproar and whose main concern was to find “fresh flesh”. The result was two years wasted in Computer Engineering, since I would lose neither any party nor a great sunny day.
In addition, it also meant the end of my livelong relationship.
Warned by my father, who was basically sponsoring all my studies, I changed my course with the promise that I would finish the new one in three years. Funny how at the time I remember thinking that I was already 20 years old and I could not joke around anymore.
But of course this thought was just on the surface because, deep down, I only wanted to keep rock & rolling. Nevertheless, I was still keeping the conviction that everything would work out in the end and that sooner or later there would be no other option that having a great, prosperous life.
During those first two years, I had my second (and last) oneitis – with a girl whom I totally fell into but who in the end left me to return to the arms of the bad boy who had dumped her before – and also the realization that something was not right.
But then it came the modern discovery of Brazil and the guy who had been about to collapse, suddenly resuscitated every single cell of his being, gaining endless energy and rejuvenating his body and mind as if he were a super hero.
However, as this transcendent adventure lasted just for two weeks, it was the time to recalibrate the cross hair back in my homeland.
Having been before in a course packed with guys, I had already started looking for alternatives but it was only during my second degree that I started to attend academic parties or events of other universities such as Medicine, Pharmacy or Nursing, which is the same to say that I was looking for the pussy paradise.
I can tell you that it was, by far, the best moments I had during my university years – along with the first Erasmus parties – being as well the first moment in my life I had to look for a niche in order to be successful with the opposite sex.
But due to the fact that not only I had to be constantly looking for options out of my “normal life” but also and especially because I was having a much higher rate of success among foreign girls, I began to realize that I needed to move abroad or, at least, to travel more throughout Europe, instead of being stuck in another western wasteland.
And it was in the end of my 2nd year of my degree that I got the great news that I would spend the next semester of the next year in Prague, the capital of Czech Republic. As you may imagine, for a 22-year-old guy who loved girls and party, this was about to be the adventure of his life, putting him in a state of anxiety which only went away when he landed there, in September 2007.
Back then, Prague was still considered an eastern Europe city – not as nowadays, being already a full westernized city with no secrets to offer – and I was totally eager to finally express my masculinity and get the women I had always dreamed about and believed I fully deserved.
Even If I got neither the quantity nor the quality I had thought in the first place, I must say that having around forty made outs and seven bangs made this experience most likely the best one of my life (at the time I did not realize that and I even became a little disappointed with the results, which simply did not meet my initial expectations).
Going back home in mid February, I was fortunate enough to go on a finalist trip to Cancun, Mexico, a month later, taking advantage of my great momentum and unshakable morale to have another amazing week of party, beach and, of course, women.
Actually I was the only one in the whole group who nailed a new girl but, instead of perceiving that as a red flag – that perhaps the world was becoming more and more difficult for every guy – I was innocent enough to believe that it only happened due to my infallible seductive skills.
I finished that great school year doing an inter-rail through the ex-Yugoslavia countries and, even if it was another great experience, there was this slight sense of deception in the air.
I know that by this time you are most likely calling me things such as negative or pessimist and arguing that I am never satisfied with anything. It is indeed a quite reasonable argument but let me tell you that, on the other hand, not only I prefer to call it ambition but also that I had a handful of great moments, which made me (and still make) believe that greatness can be the norm.
So there I was on that end of summer of 2008 ready to start a new career and to embrace the exciting, real market, in order that I could finally have the money to eventually reach my financial independence.
Oh I wish that some illuminated superior being had appeared on that exact same moment and told me neither to be passive nor to follow the path of others, but to look for my own path instead.
But since such lunacy did not happen, there I was in the apogee of the financial crisis, which shattered the world into pieces and made go me a long walk in the desert until I finally got a job, seven months after graduating.
Without going too much into details, two years passed and I was neither richer nor more satisfied, so in the summer of 2011 I slammed the corporate door and went to Ibiza to work together with a friend for three months.
In theory, it would be the summer of my life, filled with revelry and debauchery. In practice, it was just the realization that overrated places like this famous island are just a big waste of your time and money (and I can even tell you that, since I was working there, I met lots of people and I did not pay anytime to get in any of the clubs).
Unless you are a millionaire owning a yacht, whose status will throw you at private parties and VIP areas, prepare to be among a huge cock fest, spiced by lovely English whores and whales.
Fortunately enough, the friend whom I was working with was one of these “sick men” who has driven his life to be always inside the innermost depths of the vagina. Which meant that he had already discovered Ukraine and spent the whole summer bugging me to go there in the end of that September.
Since he is actually a quite persuasive guy, he eventually convinced me and in the end of Septmber there I was landing on another promised paradise, more specifically in the city of Kharkov. And those ten days there presented me to a reality I had not met before, a perfect combination of female beauty and accessibility.
Even with all the language barriers and some flakes, I returned home feeling like a king and with a new hope that there were still inhospitable territories, worthy of being discovered and explored.
The guy who had temporarily lost his faith was back on the track to fulfill his destiny: he could no longer live in the west.
But wishes are one thing and (not) trying to accomplish them is a total different one and I eventually followed the easy, lazy road of the latter, which cost me one year in idle, without knowing what to do.
After working six months on a start-up which would eventually lead to nowhere, I took the final decision of moving abroad, simply because my home country could neither offer me something new nor I could extract anything else from it.
So in September 2012 there I was landing in Deutschland, with the mind full of expectations and trust in a much more better future. The first four months until the end of that year were characterized by me going to German lessons, by looking for a job at the same time (with no success at all) and by going out like crazy, realizing that the seduction game in northern Germany is very similar to its warm summer – basically, nonexistent.
So I had to consequently start doing small trips in Europe: during this period, I went to Latvia, Sweden and to the Oktoberfest in Munich (every trip with different results but in any case, all of them much more positive than the ones I was having back at my “new home”).
Reaching the end of the year and already facing the concern of eventually having to come back home, since my money was running out, the destiny helped me (or not) and made me meet a Spaniard who was working for a company which was recruiting new people on a regular basis.
So in the end of December I got the news that I would be hired, starting in February 2013, so as a celebration I spent the new year’s eve in Ostrava, Czech Republic, and I returned to Riga two weeks later, having both trips a very positive outcome, exactly that one which provides every western warrior this amazing – but very ephemeral feeling – of mission accomplished.
During my first year of work I went through the joy of finally being earning some reasonable money but also through the realization that I was just doing a very boring, repetitive job. Still, I finally had some money in my pocket which allowed me to continue my trips throughout Europe – May in Kaunas, Lithuania, August in Crimea and Odessa, Ukraine, and September in Pamplona, in the street party of San Fermin.
In Kaunas, I saw a town with the most incredible logistics and women walking around everywhere. A place which had everything to be every man’s dream but from which I left with this feeling in the air that the best times had vanished already. In any case, a very good experience, where I met some girls who still provide me quite rewarding moments.
My summer trip inside Ukraine, where I jumped among Kiev, Odessa, Yalta and Dnipropetrovsk, gave me the experience of the year, by revealing me that you can go through such different states of mind in a short period of time. Disillusion and pure joy can cohabit perfectly together and are indeed two faces of the same coin.
To sum up things, I had plenty of girls around me and in my phone – in Ukraine, you can even be with a new girl every single day – but you will face desperation, anxiety, suffering and loneliness. But in the end, it was a god damn crazy trip which was worth the ride.
Closing the summer, I found myself in one of the most famous street parties of the world – if not the most famous – and the expectations were high: after all, I would go for a 48 hours nonstop weekend, in which everyone was there to be crazy and have fun. Again, this was just one of the many half-truths I have come across throughout my life.
Nowadays, if you go to any party in the western world (and actually also in most of the places of the so-called eastern one), the harvest will be always scarcer than what the moons predicted in the first place.
This means that during this Saturday and Sunday, with party spirit, lots of alcohol and sun, I could only make out with a girl. So even if I had lots of fun, my verdict says that it would not be worthwhile to come back.
The year continued and after “investigating” what would be better for a raid of five days, I decided to spend the New Year’s Eve in Helsinki, supposedly the city with the easiest girls in Europe, due to their easy-going vibe and intake of high doses of alcohol into their veins.
Again, another half-true: if you are aiming for the range of 5s and below, Helsinki is perhaps the best city in the world, as you will have girls literally jumping onto you; but if you are someone who aims higher, forget about this place, as it will surely disappoint and leave your pockets empty.
Back to my normal routine and already in 2014, the anxiety and this feeling of pointlessness started taking over me. I was both living in a city and doing a job which did not fulfill me at all and changing to something else would be the only option.
Thus, a couple of months later, I decided that I would spend three months in Brazil, with the perfect excuse that I would do volunteering during FIFA’s world cup (this is the advantage of living in a country such as Germany: you can have an unpaid leave for three months as if it were just being away just for one week).
So when the beginning of June arrived and I was at the airport waiting for my flight, I felt these butterflies in my belly, as I (thought I) was embarking on the trip of my life, to finally be living in a country which had changed my life eight years before and which was so coincident with my tastes and personality.
But as I will refer in other articles, it seems that not only women in Brazil have already entered the hate phase but also that it is not the Promised Land anymore, neither in terms of opportunities nor in terms of success among the opposite sex.
And the pure irony is that Brazil had marked the beginning of my “eyes-opening” and it became then the definite turning point in my life, which ended all my lunatic dreams and excessive ambitions. So I closed my twenties completely the opposite of how I had begun them: with my feet firmly planted on the ground.
And now what?
I used to think that everything should be great and have a climax – perhaps my problem was to having watched too many films during my twenties – when actually the world is a total boring place, which will make its best to keeps things totally normal and ordinary.
Of course that having expectations and always being running after great moments has, in theory, the advantage of turning you into an optimistic person, looking forward to discover the unknown.
But in reality, you will simply run into a pitfall: the unknown brings usually nothing special and the predictable outcome is that you will only become disappointed, resigned on a later phase or even completely unfaithful in the end.
And therefore I wake up in the morning and that sparkle which used to make me jump of the bed now rarely appears. The surprise, which used to move me and command the options of my life is getting paler and paler, the more experiences I have.
The same weekend I had five years ago used to give me complete different (more positive) feelings from the ones which that same weekend provides me nowadays (more on that on the article The end of the Easy Bang).
OK, some may say it is due to either my age or the déjà vu effect, but I know it is not only that, it can’t be. My character remains the same and as strange as it can look like, also the same motivations I have.
What used to take hours, takes now minutes, e.g., finding and planning a journey. What used to be rare now it’s offensively ordinary, e.g. the guy who would do an Erasmus in 1999 somewhere in eastern Europe. Or the things which would be considered disrespectful are now part of the rules of the game, e.g. adding friends like cows in social media, ignoring people like beggars.
And here I am, in a dead-end called disappointment or just the realization that growing up is basically of process of discovery, self-knowledge and, above all, of awareness that we live in a ruthless machine with the ability to turn every aspiration into a routine event.
But instead of just trying to understand what has happened to our society or just being wondering about the deceptions of life, now it comes the part in which I ask to myself: Andreas, and now what?
After you have swallowed the red pill and realized the world is a much grayer place than the one you had pictured in the first place, what and how will your attitude, mindset or way of living be?
So instead of denying it, I have to accept it. Instead of whining around, I just have to be stronger everyday and overcome the adversities. Instead of wanting something which does not exist, I need to face the reality. Instead of wishing the good old times, I need to see the opportunities on the new ones.
And this fact is not necessarily bad. Indeed, I am starting seeing it as a gift, as a continuous proof to test my capabilities, exactly the ones which only a resilient man will have in sufficient amount in order to survive in this world.
Because in the end, this was the natural selection which Darwin was always talking about: that the reality is not what we want it to be, it simply is. And those who do not adapt are invited to die slowly.
Or putting it in in other words: those who choose not to see the light, even if this is the most tenuous, demotivating one, will drown themselves in the depths of illusions.
So I prefer to face the real, ugly truth and just keep moving forward.